A South Carolina high school teacher has retired early after a viral video showed her pulling a sleeping student’s locs in an attempt to wake him up.
In the video, first posted on Facebook, the teacher Lisa Houston can be seen slapping the student's face, pulling his hair and even nudging him with her foot.
But the 27-year-veteran math teacher at Palmetto High School now says that she did not mean malicious intent.
“If you ask any kid I've taught, they'll tell you I kid around with them, make them stay awake and laugh with them,” she told WYFF News 4. “I know the video looks bad. If you don't know the situation, you don't know what's going on, but it was not a malicious act. It was all in fun. I want the public to know that I love the student and that our rapport with each other was great. I would have never done anything to hurt him.”
The father of the student in the video agrees and he actually hopes that Houston will get her job back.
“My son has nothing to do with this. He was tired and went to sleep,” Julian Johnson, the father of the student in the video told Fox Carolina. “I didn’t call for her to be fired. I wish it would go away and that it never happened.”
According to Houston, the student also made a statement to the school after the video was posted, but the school district could not release it because of privacy laws.
“In response to your request for comment regarding a video, the district wishes our community to know that the school administration immediately conducted an inquiry into what occurred, and we can share the following: the individual has already separated as an Anderson One teacher," according to the school district. "Although the district is unable to comment in detail about the matter, the administration took seriously what occurred, and the teacher, who has had an exemplary record of teaching performance, decided of her own accord that she would retire in the best interest of her school.”
Other current and former students, as well as parents, also felt that Houston's decision to resign was unjustified.